Home>Blog>How To Refinish and Restore Teak Outdoor Furniture

How To Refinish and Restore Teak Outdoor Furniture

Castlery|May 07, 2024

Teak furniture is a popular choice for outdoor furniture due to its durability and natural resistance to weathering.

Teak is also prized for its rich beauty, adding a touch of sophistication and warmth to any outdoor space. However, even the most resilient teak furniture can succumb to the elements over time, losing its original lustre and developing a weathered appearance.

However, you can restore your outdoor teak pieces to their former glory with the right guidance.

This guide will walk you through the process of teak refinishing and restoration, from cleaning to protecting your furniture.

Why do you need to refinish and restore teak furniture?

Teak furniture is known for its resilience and ability to withstand various weather conditions.

However, without regular maintenance, teak wood can show signs of aging such as fading, staining, or the development of a silver-grey patina.

Refinishing and restoring your teak furniture not only enhances its appearance but also extends its lifespan, making it a worthwhile effort for anyone looking to maintain their outdoor living space's beauty and functionality.

If you have teak furniture that needs a little TLC and refinishing, follow these steps to restore it to its former glory.

Tips for refinishing teak furniture

Step 1: Clean the teak furniture thoroughly

The first step to restoring teak furniture is to clean it thoroughly. Cleaning prepares the wood for further refinishing steps, ensuring the best results.

Use a soft-bristled brush or cloth and a mild detergent to remove any dirt or grime that has accumulated on the surface. Do not use a pressure washer on your teak outdoor furniture as it can damage and strip its natural oils.

Rinse the furniture with clean water and let it dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Step 2: Sand the furniture

After the furniture is dry, use a fine-grit sandpaper to sand the surface. This step is crucial for teak refinishing, as it smooths out any dirt or rough spots and prepares the wood for oiling. 

Over time, teak furniture can become grey and dull due to exposure to the elements. Sanding can help to remove this weathered layer and reveal the natural rich, golden colour and beauty of the teak underneath.

Do take note to sand in the direction of the grain of the wood to avoid damaging the surface. Clean up the fine dust by using a vacuum or damp cloth.

Step 3: Apply teak oil

Teak oil penetrates the wood, restoring its natural oils and bringing out the grain's beauty. When refinishing outdoor teak furniture, applying teak oil with a clean cloth, following the wood grain, can significantly enhance the furniture's appearance. This step is key in the teak wood refinishing process.

Let the oil soak in for about 15 minutes, then wipe away any excess with a clean cloth. Repeat this process until the wood is well-saturated with oil.

Step 4: Let the oil soak in

After applying the teak oil, allow it to soak into the wood for at least 24 hours before using the furniture. This duration ensures that the oil has sufficiently permeated the wood's pores, offering optimal protection against the elements and weathering.

Such thorough saturation not only enhances the durability and resilience of the teak but also helps in preserving its natural beauty and lustre. 

Step 5: Protect the furniture

To keep your outdoor teak furniture looking its best after refinishing, it's important to protect it from the elements.

When not in use, we recommend getting furniture covers or storing it indoors during the off-season. You can also apply a teak sealer to provide extra protection against weathering.

Our furniture covers are made from polyester

Covering your patio furniture with outdoor covers can protect the furniture - prolonging its lifespan and reducing the need to restore it so often.

A close up shot of a polyester outdoor furniture cover.
Two lounge chairs with furniture covers over them are placed under an outdoor umbrella.

Tailored to fit your outdoor furniture

Each outdoor cover is tailored to perfectly fit your outdoor furniture so that water or bugs don't get in!

Step 6: Refinish the furniture (Optional)

This is an optional step, but if your teak furniture is severely weathered or damaged, you may need to refinish it.

The teak refinishing process involves sanding the furniture down to bare wood and applying a new finish.

Choosing the right finish is crucial in this step; options range from varnish and lacquer to oil-based finishes, each providing a different level of protection and aesthetic appeal.

Selecting a finish that enhances the wood's natural beauty while offering durable protection is key. This restoration process not only revives the appearance of your outdoor teak furniture but also extends its lifespan, embodying a crucial aspect of teak furniture repair.

Tips for restoring teak furniture

Use a wood cleaner

In addition to using a mild detergent, you can also use a wood cleaner specifically designed for teak furniture to remove dirt and grime. These cleaners are formulated to be gentle on the wood while still removing dirt.

Avoid using harsh chemicals

Even though teak is a durable material used for outdoor furniture, harsh chemicals such as bleach can damage the wood and strip it of its natural oils. Even if your teak outdoor furniture has a large amount of build up, stick to mild cleaners. Simply scrub gently with a brush a couple of times to remove the dirt.

Remove stains promptly

If you spill something on your teak furniture, be sure to clean it up promptly to avoid staining. For stubborn stains, you can use a homemade solution of water and white vinegar or lemon juice.

Sand lightly between coats

If you're refinishing your teak furniture, be sure to sand lightly between coats of finish. This will help to remove any bumps or imperfections and create a smooth surface.

Apply finish in a well-ventilated area

When applying a new finish to your teak furniture, be sure to do so in a well-ventilated area. Many finishes contain fumes that can be harmful if inhaled, so it's important to work in a space with good airflow.

Know how to refinish and restore your teak furniture now?

By following these steps, you can restore your teak outdoor furniture to its former beauty and enjoy it for many years to come. Whether you're simply cleaning and oiling the furniture, or refinishing it entirely, the end result will be a piece that looks like new.

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